The Saudis and 9/11

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

What do we really know about the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement with the 9/11 attacks? We know that Osama bin Laden was Saudi, a member of a very wealthy family with close ties to the Bush family. We know his family denounced him and he was banished by the Saudis in 1992. we know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. We know that the bin Laden family was allowed to leave the US after airspace had been re-opened but none of the family members were ever questioned by the FBI. That’s not a lot.

There has always been some speculation that the Saudi government, or at least some prominent members of the government, had some involvement with the attacks. It was dismissed out of hand as “conspiracy theory” and even in some parts of the left wing blogosphere, a banned topic. Now, two former US Senators have broken their silence on their high level of suspicion that the Saudi government had some direct involvement with the 9/11 attack:

For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.

The sworn affidavits are part of a lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government by some of the 9/11 families. Lawyers representing the Saudis, who have so far unsuccessfully tried to have the litigation dismissed, are trying to have the two statements suppressed. Neither the Saudi’s lawyers or the US State Department have commented on this revelation. Both Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham do not think that the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that there was no evidence of Saudi support for Al Qaeda simply because evidence that they had was never fully investigated. What many have been saying all along, now has credibility.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon (h/t for the Scwartz tweet) observed:

Meanwhile, the U.S. in just the last three years alone – in the name of 9/11 and Terrorism – has dropped bombs on at least six Muslim countries whose governments had no connection whatsoever to 9/11 (often aimed at groups that did not even exist at the time of that attack). And now Washington is abuzz with exciting debates about the mechanics of how yet another country that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 – Iran – should be aggressively attacked. As Jonathan Schwarz put it when the U.S. and the Saudis collaborated to depict the “Quds Forces plot” on U.S. soil as the latest proof of Persian aggression: “The funny thing is I’d bet the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. has closer ‘ties’ to Al Qaeda than 90% of the people we’ve killed with drones.” In sum, 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with virtually all of the policies the U.S. has since undertaken in the name of Terrorism: except that it is exploited to justify them all.

I am not advocating that the United States bomb Saudi Arabia, that would exacerbate the current hatred of America beyond all imagination. What need to be done is a full investigation of the Saudi involvement and I’m sure that the Obama administration will intervene to block the 9/11 families’ lawsuit. That said, American’s still deserve to know the truth.

Good job, Barack


    • TMC on March 3, 2012 at 16:49

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